Motorists Demand Restoration Of E-tag System On M-1

Motorists demand restoration of e-tag system on M-1

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -7th Sept,2016) : Motorists and commuters have demanded early restoration of electronic toll collection system (e-tag) on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway (M-1).

The frequent travellers on the Motorway say that e-tag system was best method to avoid long queues at the NHA interchanges,but it has been closed on the M-1 since past couple of months. Zain Awan, a motorist who travels almost daily from Attock to Islamabad on his own car to perform his duties told APP that after the closure of the e-tag lane at Burhan inter-change toll plaza, he has to face long queue at the manual lanes which causes loss of precious time at both entry and exit of the motorway.

He also said that with the separation of toll plazas of M-1 and Islamabad-Lahore Motorway at Islamabad, long queues have become a matter of routine as the old plaza had 12 booths at the exit while the new plaza has only six to eight.He said that now he has to leave his home at least 30 minutes ahead of time to reach office in time.

Bilal Ahmed,a commuter who comes from Kamra,district Attock,every day said that in the past catching a van coming to Islamabad via motorway was the best option to reach office in time,but now sometimes coming by motorway costs more time than the Grand trunk Road(N-5).

He appealed to the National Highway Authority to take remedial measures to save the commuters,especially employees of various organizations from the agony of late arrival at the offices. Shafqat Ali,a driver of commuter van which plies on Attock- Rawalpindi route said that daily he has altercations with the passengers over delays ,but he cannot help it as long queues at Islamabad exit of M-1 mar the journey from Attack to Islamabad.

When contacted,the NHA officials said that the e-tag system was suspended on the M-1 due to some technical problems,but it would become operational soon. He said as the M-1 was handed over to Frontier Works Organization (FWO) for 20 years for its recarpeting and renovation on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis,it had become difficult to manage toll collection through single electronic tag system.

To meet this requirement,the FWO introduced M-tag system on M-2,while e-tag system on the M-1 had to be suspended as the old Islamabad toll plaza was in possession of the FWO. It is worth a mention that Senate Standing Committee on Communications has also issued directives to the NHA to ensure single e-tag systems on all motorways of the country, and termed the e-tag system of the NHA was the best solution.